Designing showers that cater to large groups of people(e.g. sports facility locker rooms, college dorms, healthcare facilities) requires more thought and planning than building a single residential shower.
Sure, some of the basic elements will be the same—it’s still a shower, after all. But with commercial spaces, you need to juggle several things: pleasing the client, the end user, and any governing bodies that issue rules and regulations. It’s a balancing act, for sure.
To make it a little easier, here are three important tips for designing and building custom shower enclosures that exceed everyone’s expectations.
1. Understand how people will be using the showers.
Let’s say your client owns a bunch of upscale gyms geared towards women. Your client asks you to build functional showers that reflect his brand. That’s all well and good, and your client might think this will be enough to satisfy his own customers, but you know better. Youknow you must think about the end user—that woman who’ll be using the shower day in and day out. “Functional and brand-specific” might not be as important to her as, say, safe and private.
Or maybe your client is a large city hospital. Hospital bathroom design has come under greater scrutiny lately. While accessibility, safety, and hygiene are hot buttons for any hospital, you’ve also read articles suggesting that patients thrive in settings that are not only safe and clean, but also homey and comfortable.
We’re riffing here, but you get the idea. It’s your job to understand what your client wants and to get him to stop and think about what his end users want as well. From there, you and your client need to agree on the goals for the space (which will likely be a happy medium between your client’s desires and his end users’ wishes).
2. Design to maximize space, but be mindful of regulations.
Yes, every last inch counts, especially if you’re designing and installing rows and rows of custom shower enclosures. But at the same time, you must keep building codes and other guidelines in mind (like the ADA’s Standards for Accessible Design), not to mention things specific to the client and/or the space. For example, shower rooms in elementary schools have different height requirements than shower rooms in high schools.
3. Be choosy about shower materials.
A shower is only as good as the material used to build it. You need to strike the right balance between aesthetic appeal, budget, and performance. Luckily, one material stands out as a top choice, and that material is solid surface.
Solid surfaces are…
- Non-porous, so they’re extremely hygienic. You don’t need to worry about germs and bacteria lurking in any cracks and crevices.
- Easy to clean and maintain. This is a must-have feature for high-traffic areas.
- Aesthetically pleasing. Choose from a variety of colors and rest easy knowing the color will be consistent from shower to shower.
- Extremely hard and durable. Let’s face it: with so many bodies using group showers on a daily basis, the surface will take a beating.
- Virtually seamless. Say goodbye to grout and all the headaches the come along with it.
So, to recap: when you’re designing custom shower enclosures for commercial settings, make sure you understand everyone’s needs, maximize space (while meeting code), and choose your materials wisely.
By the way, regarding that last point. Be sure to check out our line of Meridian Solid Surface shower products. You can’t beat the quality!